This Week in Science: Building a Better Particle Accelerator, Global Warming Allergies and Squirrels on Steroids
Seven days; lots of science in the news. Here’s our roundup of this week’s most notable and quotable items:
Planet formation captured around the star HL Tau by the Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array (ALMA). Image credit: NRAO
A new particle accelerator design that uses a chamber filled with a hot plasma of lithium gas could form the basis of smaller, more powerful atom-smashers than the Large Hadron Collider. People are just as good at raising baby penguins as the birds themselves, but a rover disguised as a penguin proved to be better than a person at infiltrating penguin colonies. Scientists captured the best view yet of planetary formation in action, snapping a picture of concentric dust rings surrounding the star HL Tau.
The initial analysis of the Antares rocket crash last week points to a problem with a pump in the Soviet-era engines used to propel the private spacecraft. Investigators probing the Virgin Galactic space plane crash, also from last week, are examining possible pilot error, due to the fact the craft’s movable tail section was prematurely unlocked.